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Chipotle E Coli Outbreak: 22 People Sickened, 43 Chains Closed in WA, OR

Image: Chipotle E Coli Outbreak: 22 People Sickened, 43 Chains Closed in WA, OR
A Chipotle employee prepares food in Manhattan on September 11, 2015 in New York. (Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 02 Nov 2015 08:13 AM

A Chipotle E. coli outbreak reportedly sickened 22 people in the Seattle and Portland, Oregon, area over the weekend and led to the temporary closure of 43 of the chain's restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

A company spokesman said the closures were the result of "an abundance of caution," according to The Huffington Post. Chipotle has not specified which menu items may be responsible for the E. coli outbreak.

The Washington State Department of Health said Saturday that the Chipotle restaurants are under investigation after a reported 19 cases of E. coli in Washington state and an additional three cases in Oregon.

The E. coli (Escherichia coli) bacteria are pathogenic and can cause illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bacteria can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or people.

"Anyone who thinks they may have become ill from eating at a Chipotle restaurant in the past three weeks should consult their healthcare provider," Washington state epidemiologist Dr. Scott Lindquist said in the health department statement. "The elderly and very young children are more likely to become severely ill from this kind of E. coli infection."

"While the outbreak appears to be linked to food served at Chipotle restaurants, the food or other source of contamination hasn't yet been determined and remains under investigation," the health department statement continued.

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told The Huffington Post that the restaurant is cooperating with health officials with the investigation.

"The safety and wellbeing of our customers is always our highest priority," he said. "After being notified by health department officials in the Seattle and Portland, Oregon areas that they were investigating approximately 20 cases of E. coli, including people who ate at six of our restaurants in those areas, we immediately closed all of our restaurants in the area out of an abundance of caution, even though the vast majority of these restaurants have no reported problems."

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A Chipotle E. coli outbreak reportedly sickened 22 people in the Seattle and Portland, Oregon, area over the weekend and led to the temporary closure of 43 of the chain's restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.
chipotle, e coli, outbreak, sickened, close, restaurants
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2015-13-02
Monday, 02 Nov 2015 08:13 AM
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